WESTERLY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Westerly School of Long Beach is a private 501(c)(3) non profit Independent school, and is governed by a Board of Trustees who are charged with the duty of ensuring that Westerly’s mission is relevant and being achieved to its fullest capacity both now and in the future. The Board is comprised of parents, alumni, and local community members working together, each with their unique skill sets and their hearts, devoting their time, talent and treasure, to help ensure Westerly is the extraordinary place we know it to be.
The Board executes on its fiduciary duties to make certain the School remains in a strong financial position, engages in long range and strategic planning for Westerly’s future, and delegates all of the School’s operations and the execution of Westerly’s mission to our singular employee, the Head of School. The purview of the Board, as is the case with other independent schools, is to hire, manage, and support the Head of School. The Head of School is responsible for all other employees and the School’s operation. As a result, Trustees do not get involved in day-to-day school affairs, disciplinary or personal issues, or admissions decisions. The Westerly Board follows the Principles of Good Practice published by the National Association of Independent Schools.
The Board meets on nearly a monthly basis during the school year, and operates through a committee system. Each committee meets regularly to set annual goals, makes policy recommendations, and provides regular reports to the Board. All committees with the exception of Finance and Trustee may also have non-Trustee members, and contributing at the committee level can serve as a pathway to becoming a trustee. Each member of a Board committee has knowledge in and/or has demonstrated a commitment to the committee’s area of focus as described in each committee’s charter.
Westerly School seeks Trustees who will actively support and promote the school’s mission, vision, strategic goals, and policy in the spirit of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. The Trustee Committee is also responsible for creating a board composition that reflects the strategic expertise, resources and perspectives needed to meet the mission and strategic objectives.
To nominate someone for a position on the Board of Trustees, please download the nomination form.
Email Alex Jackson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, with any questions.
EXECUTIVE AND STANDING COMMITTEES
Below is a list of Westerly's current Board officers and standing committees.
Building & Grounds
DEIJB - Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, Justice, Belonging
2023-2024 Board of Trustees Roster
Alicia Mckie has over 22 years of experience in the financial services industry and her life’s passion has always been to serve people. A graduate of Long Beach Poly and born on United Nations Day, she has always seen the value of diversity and education. She attended Barnard College in New York City and majored in Pan African Studies. Working with mostly immigrants during her years in NYC, she developed a unique worldview that has helped her to connect with people from all walks of life. Alicia is a single mom with a 19 year old son named Eli who attends San Francisco State University. When her son realized that public school wasn’t supporting him emotionally, she took a huge financial risk and put him in a private school that had similar ideologies with Westerly. This school changed his life for the better and now she would like to help other children have a positive educational experience from an academic, social and emotional standpoint. Alicia loves to travel the world and interact with great humans. She is honored to serve on the board with all of its dynamic members.
- Finance Committee
Board Vice Chair
Alex is a Westerly alumni of the class of 2003. After attending Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach and graduating from Sage Hill School in Newport Beach in 2007, she attended George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where she graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Communications and minor in Business. Upon graduation, Alex moved back to Southern California and joined her family's business, Frieda's Branded Produce in Los Alamitos, making Frieda's a three-generation family-business success story. Alex started in Frieda's marketing department before moving into the sales department in 2014. In 2014 at the age of 24, Alex was the youngest produce professional to be accepted into the International Fresh Produce Association Leadership Program and that same year earned a certificate of Produce Executive Development from Cornell University's Food Industry Management Program. In 2017, Alex was named one of the "40 Under 40" by Produce Business Magazine for her success and leadership in the produce industry. Now, Alex serves as the Director of Sales of Frieda's.
Alex lives in Westchester, Los Angeles with her one-and-a-half-year-old son, Eli and dog Kiwi. She has served on the Board of Trustees for nine years and takes pride in giving back to the school, engaging alumni back into the Westerly community and is excited to continue making an impact.
- Trustee Committee
- Advancement Committee
- Financial Assistance Committee
- Head of School Search Committee 2018
- Vice Chair 2017-2018
- Trustee Committee Chair 2017-2018
- Vice Chair 2022-2023
Becki Ames is the President of Tea Leaf Advisors, Inc., providing private sector clients with strategic public policy & issue management consulting. She is a sought after collaborator, with expertise forged over two decades of work in federal, state & local government, media, communications & politics. Before starting TLA, Becki served for 8 years as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Long Beach, as a senior consultant to the Speaker of the California Assembly, and as a member Chief of Staff. She serves on several community boards and enjoys spending time at home with her family (Class of 2024) and 3 dogs.
- Finance Committee
- Advancement committee
- Past Transition Committee member
- Past Marketing Committee Chair
Dr. Cindy P. Chun is the Head of School at an independent K-8 school in Rolling Hills Estates and has almost 30 years of experience in Preschool-12 educational settings. She is on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and co-chairs the CAIS Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity committee. Dr. Chun serves on accreditation teams for both CAIS and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). She is also an adjunct professor and participates on doctoral comprehensive exam panels at Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology. An avid traveler, Dr. Chun enjoys learning about how education differs abroad to inform teaching programs and practices at her school. Dr. Chun prioritizes faculty professional development, diversity in educational practices and learning, and culturally relevant pedagogy. Her research on affinity groups has informed the best practices for implementation in independent school settings. She is very excited to support and serve on the Westerly School Board of Trustees.
- DEIJB (Chair)
David Wright is currently a Software Account Manager for One Identity owned by Quest Software in Aliso Viejo. One Identity is a market leader in Unified Identity Security specializing in Privileged Access Management, Active Directory Management, Multi-factor Authentication and Single Sign-On solutions. David was previously Founder & CEO of an Entertainment Management company as well for about 12 years specializing in the career management of up-and-coming artists and established entertainment acts. He has had the opportunity to work with the likes of Teena Marie (singer), Doug E. Fresh (rapper), Mike Epps (comedian/actor), Robb Hunter (musician), Tommy Organ (guitarist for MJ’s This is it Tour/Janet Jackson), Crystal Starr Knighton (actress/singer—American Idol Top 20), Ms. Diddy (Brand Ambassador) & DJ Prophet (93.5FM) & Craig Thomas (actor/movie producer).
David was born in Dallas, TX and raised in the Dallas area until he relocated to Southern California in December 1999 with Insight, a Fortune 500 technology company. David is a huge sports fan but loves his Dallas Cowboys the most! David currently lives in Long Beach with his daughter, Madison (Class of 2026). David co-parents Madison along with her mother Ebony White and have all been members of the Westerly family since 2017 starting in Kindergarten.
Buildings & Grounds
- Advancement Committee (Vice Chair)
Dr. Batra is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and Pediatric Infectious Diseases/HIV Specialist working at both Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital (MCWH) in Long Beach and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance where he provides care for children and young adults, the vast majority of whom are underserved. He is especially passionate about helping his young HIV patients achieve their goals given the ongoing stigma attached to this disease. In addition to his role as a clinician, he serves as Chair of the Infection Control/Epidemiology Committee at MCWH as well as President of the Miller Children’s Specialty Group, with over 40 physicians. He is the Medical Director of the Bickerstaff Family Center, a family-centered medical clinic that cares for children, mothers, and their partners with HIV. He has participated in multiple medical missions including to Cambodia and most recently, to Uganda, where he was born. He moved from Uganda to Canada at the age of nine, and then to Los Angeles six years later. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1996, after which he completed a residency in Pediatrics in Ohio followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Harbor-UCLA.
He has lived in Long Beach since 2002 and has two children, Kaaya (Class of 2018) and Eshaan (Class of 2022). He is also an avid golfer and enjoys movies.
- Building and Grounds
- Health & Safety Taskforce
Finance Committee Member
Michael is the founder and owner of Wyeth, a leading fashion hat label that he began in 2014. Wyeth is a local Long Beach business with offices and a warehouse in the Zaferia district. He has supported many local organizations with hat donations including The Women's Shelter of Long Beach, Homeboy Industries and City of Hope. Michael was born and raised in Sierra Madre, California. He was a reserve firefighter for the City of Lynwood and Sierra Madre for 3 years in his early 20's until he developed a passion for travel which has never faded.
He and his wife Hedda Staines live in Bluff Park, Long Beach with their daughter Ida (Class of 2025) and have been members of the Westerly community since 2018.
- Building and Grounds Committee
Roosevelt is a Westerly Parent who grew up in the local area attending the local public schools. A veteran in the Financial Services industry, currently performing Strategy and Product Management at a Fortune 50 company. He grew up in the Long Beach area attending local public schools, and joined the Westerly family when his son began Kindergarten. When not working, much time is spent volunteering and coaching youth sports teams in the area. Enjoys traveling, but also enjoying what Southern California (and Long Beach) has to offer.
Roosevelt lives in Long Beach with his wife and son (class of 2025).
- Alumni committee
- Building and Grounds committee Chair
- Finance committee
Shalu is a Board Certified Ophthalmic Surgeon working in both private practice and for the Department of Health Services at the County of Los Angeles where she serves the eye care needs of and strives to increase access to the underserved in the greater Los Angeles area. Shalu has organized and led medical and surgical missions partnering with SEE International and Colorado Airlift to Uganda, Mexico and India, where she has performed cataract surgeries to alleviate preventable blindness and provided support and training to local doctors. She also serves as an expert providing medical legal support for litigation.
Shalu was born in India, and raised in Kenya until she moved to the United States in 1980. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from UCLA, and earned her Doctorate of Medicine degree from UCLA, after which she completed an Internship in Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA prior to completing her residency in Ophthalmology at UC Irvine.
She and her husband, Dr. Zuri Murrell live in Long Beach with their two daughters Anya (Class of 2021) and Jiya (Class of 2023), and have been members of the Westerly community since 2012.
- Trustee Committee
- DEIJB Committee
- Finance Committee 2013-2023
- Strategic Planning Committee Chair 2018-2019
- Covid Health and Safety Taskforce Chair 2020-2023
- Vice Chair 2018-2019
Board Chair 2019-2023
Shanelle is an Educational Psychologist working as a District Educationally-Related Mental Health Specialist (ERMHS) at Paramount Unified School District in the City of Paramount. Shanelle is currently one of two ERMHS Specialists providing intensive assessments and interventions for students with mental health needs in addition to assisting IEP teams in determining appropriate services, supports, and placement to address the mental health needs of eligible students and their families. She spent over ten years working at Children's Institute Inc. in the City of Watts as an Incredible Years Program Coordinator, then Youth Development Director, and ending her time as a Mental Health Specialist for the Head Start Program.
Shanelle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with a special option in Child Development from California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, earned her Masters Degree in School Psychology and Doctorate in Educational Psychology from Alliant International University in Alhambra.
She and her daughter, Kourtney (Class of 2027) live in Bellflower and have been members of the Westerly community since 2021.
- Advancement Committee